If you’ve purchased a new smartphone from Bell, it may not be as new as you think. In a shocking discovery, Vancouver WordPress developer Vanessa Chu realized that a “new” iPhone she purchased last year is actually a tampered-with, unlocked device. For nine months everything seemed normal, until the phone encountered a minor issue and Vanessa took her iPhone into an Apple store for repair.
The Apple technician did some diagnostics on the phone and opened up the phone to inspect it. What he found would lead to the most unusual fraud I have ever encountered. After inspecting the phone, he told me that the phone appeared to have 2 serial numbers, one on the SIM tray which corresponds to the original box of the iPhone, and another serial number on the body of the phone that did not correspond with the tray or the box.
Further, the phone appeared to have been opened and tampered with, as stickers on the internal elements of the phone were moved. My Apple warranty was void because my phone was tampered with and had 2 unusual non-matching serial numbers. He suggested I contact Bell for assistance.
Vanessa did just that, but ultimately, Bell was no help. According to her account of the situation, Bell acknowledged that the serial number on the body of the iPhone is attached to an unlocked iPhone not registered to any carrier, while the serial number of the SIM card tray is attached to her Vanessa’s account, registered with a supposedly legitimate device—but not Vanessa’s iPhone.
Bell claims that they have never encountered this situation before, which caused the case to reach far up the chain of command. However, the company decided to eventually cease its investigation, Vanessa says, without ever offering her an apology or a new iPhone.
“They could not answer how I received an iPhone 4 with two serial numbers, one of which belonged to an unlocked phone,” Vanessa wrote in her blog post. “They could not explain, nor would continue their investigation, as to how an illegitimate, tampered phone got into their system and was delivered to their customer posed as a brand new phone.”
Read Vanessa’s full blog post for all the details, and check back on Techvibes as this disturbing story unfolds.